Germany’s program for young people who experience sexual attraction to children  

Sexual preferences are not a choice  

Berlin University of Medicine, Charité, has a therapy program for young people aged 12-18 experiencing sexual attraction to children. The main tenet, or slogan, behind the program is that sexual preferences are not a choice, but acting on the preferences is a choice. So, the program aims to ensure that no one with sexually deviant preferences acts out their preferences.  

Identifying suitable patients though diagnostic assessments  

The initial contact is made by the adolescent or their caregivers. After contacting the hospital program, the adolescent is invited to undergo a diagnostic assessment. The assessment includes questionnaires and interviews, both for the adolescent and their caregivers. After the assessment, a panel decides if the adolescent is suitable for the program. If the adolescent meets the relevant criteria, such as showing a genuine desire to avoid acting on their sexual fantasies, they will be offered therapy. The therapy is free, and strict confidentiality rules govern all people working in the program. 

Equipping children to counteract their impulses  

The therapeutic process is extensive and may involve weekly sessions for up to a year, depending on the child’s needs and living situation. The therapy provides adolescents with harmful sexual behaviour a better understanding of their situation and equips them with resources to counteract their impulses. 


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